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When I wore a younger man’s clothes I was fascinated with the workings of the world around me. I looked for reasons and explanations for almost everything. I confess that I am a cause and effect guy. Not much that happens happens by co-incidence for me.
Last week we needed to attend a funeral along with the services and viewings that are a part of that. As with most funerals there are some particular traditions to observe and so on. What I came away with was a recognition of how much many mainstream religions have given up concerning the customs and the passion they once demonstrated supporting their individual religious choices. I am not trying to be critical or judgemental but close scrutiny does help to satisfy my thoughts and understandings of why we, as a community of human beings, have struggled with lifestyle changes and how we have exchanged a belief in a higher power for the pursuit of money. Money has become the new ‘God’ for many. In the summer on my way to the church of my choosing I see the Beer Store parking lot full of cars and playgrounds filled with parents and kids practicing baseball or soccer or football. This would be at 9:30 in the morning and I wonder why they stopped going to church or how church became a non-consideration.
As I am want to do I pick my spots and ask folks how come they don’t go to church anymore. Almost to a person, they said they don’t have to go to church to believe in God. I, being me, don’t or can’t let that answer stand so I would plod on. Eventually most people said they had lost faith in the church-that churches were not safe places to be anymore either spiritually or physically. Many added that churches had become more focused on money and bricks and mortar than on providing guidance. In a word–that they were no longer relevant. Since fewer parents attend church, kids have virtually no idea of the institution and the role it can play in the safety, stability and balance of the community they live in.
I see a strong connection between the disconnect from church and street violence, the growing disregard for acceptance of one another as free human beings and everytime we give up or are asked to give away another of our religious tenets we move further away from equality with all others. Not preaching here-just sharing observations.
Churches have done a TERRIBLE job, in my view, of dealing with controversy and adversity. What is happening now (the growing number of churches that are closing shop) is absolutely a crisis of their own making. But what is left is a vast hole in the spiritual center of our Christian based humanity-a safety net of sorts. The village church was, if no other place existed, a place of safety, warmth, companionship and trust. Not so much anymore.
If we look at politics and political parties we see the same thing has happened there. Fewer people are voting, many have just given up the idea of experiencing any sort of responsive and accountable government. That lets people like Donald Trump gain an almost impenetrable grip on the power buttons and how we conduct ourselves in the world. The current fiasco south of us is almost ‘coven’ like in terms of how it goes about its business. The current system has all but destroyed any public faith in the institution of government with the child like tantrums of a very sick man. He could easily take us to the brink of destruction either internally or externally. Either way his behaviour has been anything but presidential. The Republican Party itself should be ashamed of what they have allowed to happen. The belief that many around the world had in the US as a government of some reason and balance is evaporating at an alarming rate. What has happened to the south of us has managed to instill fear and despair in the hearts and souls of the majority and there now is a disarming trend of apathy among those who deserve much better. But more importantly there is now a hole in the center of the citizenry that is growing by the day. Everyday there is a fiasco of some kind that further threatens the stability and the beliefs that some still held that somehow this nightmare would end-soon. That hope is fading quickly along with hope.
Sounding familiar? What’s next is dealing with the blindness of those who believe that the next generation is somehow going to benefit by the stubbornness of our educational institutions. Said institutions refuse to acknowledge that our children are being left behind when it comes to how and what our children are learning, and how irrelevant much of what passes for public education really is. They will not be competitive or successful in a global marketplace under the current system.
ISIS and all the other radical groups who would see the ‘free’ world perish wont have to do much to be victorious in the current struggle for power. Actually if they just step aside for now and wait us out we are well on our way to imploding.
And I thought we were smarter than this.
Anyways, that’s how I see things.
All the best and thanks for stopping by, Jim
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